NEW DELHI — Ace designer Manish Malhotra recently launched his Persian-inspired collection at the opening of India Couture Week 2016, with actress Deepika Padukone and Bollywood’s hottest import, Fawad Khan, as his showstoppers.      

The line, titled ‘The Persian Story,’ was a winner right from the word go, as it was kick-started by the Pakistani heartthrob, who confidently marked his debut on the Indian runway, giving no signs of first time nerves.      

“It is my India runway debut, and it was daunting for me. I have probably walked the ramp three times, and this is the fourth time. But it was an absolute pleasure to walk with Deepika for Manish,” Khan told reporters.      

Though the warm, dark-hued sherwani featuring a golden embroidery on its pocket may have been too hot for the sultry weather, the 34-year-old “Kapoor and Sons” actor said he was very comfortable in the garment.     

“I love ‘The Persian Story.’ This is a very comfortable sherwani, and every groom should wear it this winter season.”      

Padukone, on the other hand, closed the show wearing a red off-the-shoulder blouse, teamed with a matching red, ornate, embroidered lehenga.      

“I started my career as a model, and I can say that I have never been so tired, because this is the heaviest. I was actually gasping for breath,” the 30-year-old actress said.      

Malhotra, whose eponymous label has completed 11 years, seemed to be in awe of his stunning showstoppers and thanked both Padukone and Khan for taking time out of their busy schedules to help him showcase his latest couture line.      

“I thank Fawad for taking time out of his 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' shoot to come here. I have known Deepika as a model and also personally. I was there when she first faced the camera in her debut film. I am very happy to have her here today,” the designer said.       

Talking about Padukone’s garment, Bollywood’s favorite designer said that all brides should wear something like this, as it was red in color and featured aged velvet.     

“The embroidery is very old world and architecturally intricate. It took us three months to complete.”      

The designs featured the stunning architecture of Persia, blooming paradise of fauna and flora, and fearless royals that ruled their vast kingdoms.      

The clothes featured heavy hand-woven gold embroidery on sheer and velvet fabrics in lehengas and sheer tops, opulent velvet jackets over cigarette pants, gowns and regal sherwanis.      

“It is all about the Persian architecture, color scheme and music. I keep looking at things, observe and then come up with a collection,” Malhotra said.      

Intricate motifs were prominent in each of the 50 limited edition pieces, in deep shades of maroon, emerald green and azure blue.      

The much in-trend cold shoulder and off-the-shoulder style was featured extensively throughout the women’s line. 

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